Coming Home
At The Ocean Dental Center, Dr. Steven Ochsenreither leads a team of clinicians devoted to providing compassionate, comprehensive dental care in his hometown of Willow Grove.
by Matt Cosentino

For the first 25 years of his career in dentistry, Steven Ochsenreither, D.M.D., was perfectly happy to be running his own practice, building meaningful relationships with longstanding patients, and helping people overcome some of their dental fears in attaining excellent oral health. There was only one thing missing: getting to do all of that in his hometown.

Eight years ago, however, the opportunity arose for Dr. Ochsenreither to take over an existing practice in Willow Grove, and he leapt at it. The move ended up being perfect in almost every way; not only did his entire staff and most of his patients come with him, but he also retained the previous patients and staff at the new office. As a result, the practice—The Ocean Dental Center—grows by leaps and bounds.
“I came full circle,” he says. “Upper Moreland High School, my alma mater, is right down the road. I grew up in a house that’s a stone’s throw from the office. My parents raised me and my brothers here, and this is where we raised our own families. Coming to this office was like coming back home. This is where I always wanted to be.”
The location may have changed, but all the other traits that helped Dr. Ochsenreither develop a loyal patient base and an impeccable reputation in the field have remained.
As someone who dealt with cavities, crowns, and a root canal in his younger years, he prides himself on relating to the discomfort patients may be feeling. He goes out of his way to treat their issues in a gentle manner. He is also quick to praise his staff for welcoming every person who walks through the doors with open arms.
“My staff is great, from the front desk to the hygienists to my assistants,” he adds. “People love them and they’re such a big part of the success of The Ocean Dental Center. They’re so good at answering your questions. They’re helpful, they’re fun to be around, and they make you feel comfortable. We’re really good with anxious patients for that reason.”
Aside from the culture among team members, the office radiates a warm and welcoming energy.
“We really have a gorgeous office,” Dr. Ochsenreither confirms. “There’s a fireplace in the waiting room and we have waterfalls in some of the operatories. It’s very calming, very friendly. You feel more like you’re with friends and family than in a medical office.”
The Ocean Dental Center provides a wide range of services, from regular cleanings to dental implants, crowns, bridges, porcelain veneers, teeth whitening, and Invisalign, which Dr. Ochsenreither describes as the “gold standard” among clear aligners. His staff also includes Neal Appelstein, D.M.D., an endodontist who specializes in quick and painless root canals. Dr. Appelstein’s presence means that patients can have a root canal performed along with other treatment during the same visit, a convenience that busy families especially appreciate.
The practice participates in most insurance plans and embraces the modern technological advancements in dentistry. As one example, the practice offers digital impressions through the revolutionary iTero Element2 Scanner.
“When I first started, you would be lucky if a new product came out every year,” Dr. Ochsenreither says. “Now there are so many products constantly on the market, it’s impossible to even test them all out. It keeps changing for the better and makes things so much easier and much more accurate.”
Dr. Ochsenreither is happy to handle any issues that a patient may be experiencing, but providing a new and improved smile is particularly fulfilling. When someone who is afraid to smile or is lacking self-esteem due to problems with their teeth, Dr. Ochsenreither and his team can help restore their confidence. The feeling of satisfaction when they witness such a transformation never grows old.
“We love that,” he says. “We have pictures on the wall of people who have had their smiles transformed, and that’s one of the more satisfying aspects of dentistry. Of course, we love doing your everyday dentistry of restoring oral health, but nothing compares to seeing someone emotional because they just saw their new smile. We’ve had people crying and hugging us, and it makes for a great day at The Ocean Dental Center.”
Dr. Ochsenreither and his wife Carie Ann, a highly regarded Realtor, are active in the community and appreciate every opportunity to meet new people. It’s common for him to send patients who are in the market for a new house her way, while she returns the favor by referring patients to a dental office that is known for its local roots and inviting atmosphere.
All patients in need of dental care, especially those who may have neglected their treatment in the past, are encouraged to contact The Ocean Dental Center. Their fears or concerns are quickly alleviated.
“You should never feel bad if you haven’t been here for a while, because you’re never going to be made to feel bad,” he says. “We don’t scold people; we tell them it’s not about what you should have done, but about what we are going to do together from this day forward. It’s just a matter of getting patients in, because once they do, they tend to stay. It feels like home here.”
Patients can attest to the special relationship they have formed with Dr. Ochsenreither. Some of them have been patients of his for decades.
“That’s the best part,” he says. “I can’t tell you how many patients I see every day that when I go in, aside from examining their teeth, we end up shooting the breeze because I’ve been seeing them for so long. I’ve seen their kids be born, graduate from college, and have their own babies. It’s just great getting to know patients on a personal level like that.”
The Ocean Dental Center
735 Fitzwatertown Road, Suite 3
Willow Grove, PA 19090
(215) 672-8588
Photo by Jody Robinson
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life, September 2023.